Preparing your BBQ for the season

It’s that time of year again to dig out the BBQ from its winter hibernation and start preparing for summer. Whether gas or charcoal, your BBQ will require some tender loving care ahead of the first get together, so what needs to be done?

Gas BBQs

When it comes to a gas BBQ the main steps to be taken in preparation are as follows:

1. The check up

Having spent a number of months sat collecting dust, your gas BBQ will need to be checked for any potential damage or general wear and tear to make sure that it is in full working order ahead of use. 

Begin by closely examining the gas hoses for any damage; checking for cracks, tears or patches of deterioration. If the hose appears to be compromised in any way, it is time for it to be replaced.

Moving onto the hose connectors, these should be checked for any scratches, dirt or other damage that could result in a faulty connection and a potential gas leak; again, if you believe these could be compromised replace them prior to use. 

You should now inspect the burners, paying close attention to any blockages that may have occurred from old spider webs, dust or debris becoming lodged within them over the winter period. This can usually be easily resolved by dislodging it with the use of a toothpick or something similar. 

Then it is simply a matter of testing all the controls of the BBQ to check that they all work in the way they should and checking whether you require a new gas bottle to replace the one currently in use. Remember, if you do need to swap gas bottles, follow instructions for the correct set up.

2. Deep clean

Having a deep clean of your BBQ before the season starts is essential to both the health of your BBQ and guests. 

To begin, start by removing any parts of the BBQ that can be disconnected and are suitable to be washed and place them into a bowl of hot, soapy water to soak, loosening any residue. Then simply use a scrubbing pad or cloth to clean each part thoroughly before leaving them to dry.

Moving on to the main BBQ appliance, clean the interior and exterior thoroughly with hot soapy water and leave it to dry outside.

3. Test it out!

Once you are happy that your BBQ is clean and in healthy working order it’s time to re-assemble the components, making sure that it is set up in the way instructed, with no loose connections. You can then fire it up for a trial run - leave it on for around 15 minutes to allow the BBQ to burn off any remaining cleaning fluid and ensure that there are no issues missed in your earlier inspection, then simply switch off and prepare for your first outdoor meal of the year!

Charcoal BBQ’s

Charcoal BBQ’s also require regular maintenance and cleaning, and the steps to do so are as follows: 

1. Check up

Check your BBQ over thoroughly, looking carefully for any rust patches that may need to be attended to.

2. Sparkling inside and out 

Focusing first on one of the most essential parts of your BBQ, begin by removing the grill and soaking it in hot soapy water before cleaning it thoroughly with a cloth or scourer (depending on what your grill is made of; aluminium grills should be cleaned with care). Once the grills are clean, leave them aside to dry whilst turning your attention to the main part of the BBQ.

If you, like many of us have been guilty of leaving your BBQ full of the remnants of last year’s final BBQ, you may need to begin by scooping out old charcoal and debris from the bottom.

Once empty, simply clean both inside and out with hot water, soap and a cloth before leaving it outside to dry.

3. Time to fire it up!

In order to ensure that no cleaning fluids have been left on your grill, fire your BBQ up with a small amount of coal and let it burn for around 15 mins; this will allow any residue left from the cleaning process to be burnt off.

Now, whether gas or charcoal, your BBQ will be ready and waiting for the season ahead, so you can sit back and wait for the first glimmer of sunshine!